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Old 07-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #61
MickeyMomTo2
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Originally Posted by RweTHEREyet View Post
I, too, had read that the character breakfast was very rushed and because of that some people had been skipping it and dining elsewhere.

Hope you had a fun day at Holiday World. Still enjoying your report and looking forward to the next installment.
I'm glad we didn't skip. Wasn't as personal as WDW experiences can be, but if you go in knowing it may be rushed and have everyone ready for pics, it can still be fun.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Chilly View Post
We didn't find our character breakfast was rushed but we were also second seating so I think that does make a difference.
I definitely think second seating made a difference. I guess that was one upside to having that assignment!

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Originally Posted by Ellester View Post
Holiday World! Boy, does that bring back the memories. When I was little my grandparents would take us there (it was Santa Claus Land then) when we would visit them in Kentucky. I remember the booths where you would put in a quarter and a chicken would come out and dance or play the piano or some other goofy thing. Good times!

Enjoying the report! We are on the last sailing in Sept. and my middle two kids are about the same age as yours (dd will have just turned 12, ds is 9). My son is a baseball addict as well. All he ever wants to watch on TV is Quickpitch on MLB Network and the Braves. Fall Ball sign ups are in two weeks, hard to believe. Our local 11-12 team is still in the running for the LL World Series (our league won it in 2006 and made the finals in 2010) and the mania around town is building. We change planes in Toronto and he was disappointed we couldn't catch a game on our layover!
I didn't see the chickens. However, we did have a fun day at Holiday World! They now have a very large waterpark, but it was PACKED. We waited in line for an hour and a half for a family raft ride/coaster (mix between Teamboat Springs and Crush N Gusher at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). My kids kept asking why we couldn't get a Fastpass. After that, we took advantage of the Wave Pool, water play area, and lazy river before returning to the much less crowded traditional side of the park. The lines there were much better. We had never been to Holiday World, but we really enjoyed our day! They have free soft drink stations all over the park--my kids thought Disney should copy that!

We have a local team that is still in the running as well. They are currently playing in the State Championship. DS has a buddy on the team, so we are hoping they make it. That would be so fun!

Thanks for following my trip report!

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Originally Posted by MagicMe View Post
Loving your trip report. I took this cruise in 2011 and loved every minute!! I would do it again! We actually flew into Vancouver and spent a couple of days there. For those planning on spending a bit of time in Vancouver - it's a wonderful city and the people are so friendly. We took the HOHO bus around and spent some time in each of the sections.

The scenery you will see (especially going up the fjord to Tracy Arms) is spectacular!!

Oh and I LOVE John Charles!!! He's been on three of my seven cruises (thre of the four 7 day or longer cruises) and I've enjoyed him every time. There are some things he repeats (mostly because people bug him to here them) but he keeps it fresh enough that you can enjoy it each time.
I do wish we had more time in Vancouver. It was a beautiful city. If my husband and I ever repeat this experience, I definitely want to explore it more.

Tracy Arm was one of my favorite days, and John Charles was definitely my favorite entertainer for the week. I'll talk more about both of these soon! Thanks for reading!
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:20 PM   #63
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The kids and I are back from Holiday World. We had a fun time! I was only gone for one day, but it seems that's all it takes to get behind schedule. Will try to update tonight!
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:59 PM   #64
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Very jealous! You should be there in peak salmon season. I would love to hear back from your trip! Wish I could say that I will finish my report before you leave, but that probably won't happen. Have a WONDERful time!
Thank you so much! We leave in the morning! I really appreciate your taking the time to update us on your trip. Lots of good tips and so much fun to read!
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:20 PM   #65
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Thank you so much! We leave in the morning! I really appreciate your taking the time to update us on your trip. Lots of good tips and so much fun to read!
Have an amazing trip! Hope you will let us know all about it!
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:25 PM   #66
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After our character breakfast, DD and I went to the Promenade Lounge for the Pictionary Challenge. They had the room divided into two groups, and they were taking volunteers from each side to draw. At first, they were doing classic Disney characters, but people were just shouting out every character they could think of as the person started drawing, so the CM tried to make it a little harder and asked people to rein in their competitive natures a bit. DD volunteered to draw and was told to draw a Marvel character. Instead of drawing the actual character, she drew a web for Spiderman. She was very proud when someone guessed correctly.


144 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


146 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

Shortly after that, we went to play the Generations Game in Wavebands. They started with three kids and three adults. DD was thrilled to be chosen. The first round was trivia, and the kids had to answer questions the adults would know, and the adults had to answer questions the kids would know. I wish I had been part of the adult group during this round because I knew all the answers. Does that mean I'm childish? The adults didn't know many of the answers, but they still beat the kids in this round. I remember one of the questions they asked the adults was "What is the name of Perry's alter ego?" None of the adults knew Agent P! I was very surprised. Here's my DD answering "Which of these is the name of a famous song: 'Hey, You'; 'Hey, Dude'; or 'Hey, Jude'?" The kids didn't get it right.


149 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

For the next round, those on the stage had to go into the audience and pick replacements. Why, oh why couldn't I have been in the first round???? I got picked for the second round, and we had to sing and dance! First, the adults had to rap "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", and then we had to do a hip hop dance. Let's just say the kids won this round--no contest!!! (DD didn't know to use a flash--she was taking pictures of me like crazy, but they are all blurry. That's good because I didn't really want evidence anyway!)


168 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

The final round involved all of us doing a relay with a hoola hoop. It was quite entertaining!

We had a great time at this game. I recommend taking advantage of some of these activities during a Disney cruise. Both the trivia game that we all attended on our first night and this game that DD and I attended were very well done and fun for all. Disney does a great job planning these family activities, and the CM's make it very enjoyable!


192 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

Coming Up...A Relaxing Afternoon and a Golden Evening
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:30 AM   #67
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I also strongly suggest

enjoying the trivia and games, my daughter was picked to play Guess Who I Am
Her character was Cruela de Vil, she asked if she was a villain, then asked if she liked animals and then she guessed her character. Every time the cast member saw her on the ship she acknowledge her as the fastest guesser she had had. Just added to our joy of getting to know our cast member on a longer voyage.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:51 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by msbuzzlightyear View Post
enjoying the trivia and games, my daughter was picked to play Guess Who I Am
Her character was Cruela de Vil, she asked if she was a villain, then asked if she liked animals and then she guessed her character. Every time the cast member saw her on the ship she acknowledge her as the fastest guesser she had had. Just added to our joy of getting to know our cast member on a longer voyage.
The cast members are so wonderful about stuff like this. The CM holding the mic up to my daughter in the Generation Game pic (above) remembered her name the entire cruise. Every time we saw him he called her by name and asked how she was doing. That is part of what makes a Disney cruise magical.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:23 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by MickeyMomTo2 View Post
The cast members are so wonderful about stuff like this. The CM holding the mic up to my daughter in the Generation Game pic (above) remembered her name the entire cruise. Every time we saw him he called her by name and asked how she was doing. That is part of what makes a Disney cruise magical.
So true!!
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:53 PM   #70
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After the Generation Game, DD and I headed back to the room to find the boys (I don't remember what they had been doing during this time--mostly basketball playing and television watching, I think).


198 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

DS wanted to swim at some point, but first I took both kids down to deck 4 to check out the gift shops. We didn't buy anything until the last day, but it was fun to look!


196 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

We noticed that they were preparing for the Golden Mickeys!


201 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

After some browsing, we met DH on deck 9 for lunch. It was probably 1:30 at this time. Since we had our character meal at 10, we weren't starving, but we knew Beach Blanket would be closing at 2. DH and I enjoyed the lunches we had at Beach Blanket. Each day was a different theme. I don't remember what the theme was on this day, but some of the themes included Tex-Mex, Asian, Seafood, etc...

I mentioned before that I prefer the classic ships to the newer ships, but lunch for the kids at Beach Blanket was one of the things that was a little frustrating. On the Dream, I remember there always being kid friendly options (pizza, mac-n-cheese, etc...). In Beach Blanket, we didn't see these choices. DH and I would go through the line and get our lunch, while the kids would go through the line, pass everything by, and then head back out to the pool deck to get a burger and fries or pizza. Then, they would bring their meals back into Beach Blanket and eat with us. Not a huge inconvenience for us because our kids were old enough to do this on their own, but I wondered if we were the only ones that wished there were more typical "kid" foods on the buffet. Maybe the other kids were more willing to try new things than mine! Like I said, DH and I enjoyed most of the things we tried for lunch at Beach Blanket, but the kids didn't eat much there!

After lunch, both kids swam for a little while, but DD didn't stay in the pool long. At 3:00, she met our tablemates' girls (9yo and 11yo) at the Buena Vista Theatre for a showing of Snow White. I planned to watch the movie with her, but the girls were without their parents, and my DD really wanted to be grown-up and watch without me. The 11yo had a wave phone, so I told DD she could watch with her friends, and I would be waiting for her outside the theatre when the movie ended. The Navigator always lists exactly how long the movies last, so I was able to know exactly what time to return.

So, with 1 hour and 23 minutes of free time, I returned to the room to enjoy the views!


204 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

I loved how close we were to land most of the time. It was so peaceful!

I went to pick DD up from the movie around 4:15. As I was waiting, Snow White walked by. She stopped and talked to me for a minute, and I wish I would have taken a picture. I was alone, and she was alone. Looking back, it was almost surreal. How often are you just sitting around when a Disney princess happens to walk by and have a conversation with you (in full character of course)?

While DD was in the movie, DS played basketball and participated in a free throw contest. This is always comical on the ships. It's always windy enough and the ship is moving enough that it's difficult to make shots. Even good basketball players have a difficult time. Regardless, DS wanted to try. I don't remember the results, but I know he had fun!

While I was waiting for DD and DS was playing ball, the dining manager called the room and told DH that we could have early dining that night. DH accepted the change, and then called me. I was actually hesitant to make the change for only one night because I thought we might as well try to adjust, especially since we were going to fall back another hour during the night. We also really liked our tablemates, and I knew the kids wouldn't want to switch. DH went to Guest Services to clarify about the change being for only one night. The CM at Guest Services said it probably was for one night, but he would check. Surprisingly, the computer showed that we had been moved to early dinner for THE ENTIRE CRUISE. Even though I knew the kids would miss our tablemates, we had to make the change. This would make our whole week so much easier!!!!

So, when I picked my DD up from the movie, we went back to the room, and I explained to her that we were going to change. Once she realized we wouldn't be eating with her new friends, she burst into tears and didn't speak to anyone for at least an hour, but this actually wasn't too bad for the rest of us because it meant she wasn't arguing with her brother . DS was disappointed as well, but didn't take it as hard. I did feel bad for the kids, and I hated to tell our tablemates that we would be changing, but I knew it was for the best, especially with the time moving another hour back that night. We managed to work through the tears and get ready for dinner.

It was Golden Mickeys/formal night. I had been on two previous Disney cruises, so I knew there would be a broad range of outfits in the dining room. Since we booked so close to the cruise, I just took nice clothes, but nothing too fancy. I didn't have time to get formal wear for all of us (I was too busy trying to find warm clothes and rain gear)! There were people dressed much nicer than we were dressed, but there were also outfits much more casual than ours. We felt very comfortable (except DS would rather have been wearing shorts or track pants).


207 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


209 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


211 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

Even though we changed seatings, we got to keep the same rotation, which was very nice. Our new tablemates were a couple and their college-aged son. Although our kids couldn't really connect in the same way as they had with our first tablemates, the family was very nice, and we got along fine. The mom works at an elementary school in Virginia. I was glad to find this out because I knew that even if my kids didn't behave perfectly, they wouldn't be the worst kids she'd ever seen.

Just a note: the people who vacated the seats in early dining didn't speak English well and felt uncomfortable sharing a table with others. You never know how a table may become available, so if you want to switch, get your name on the waitlist both pre-cruise and as soon as you get on the ship. You never know how it will work out!

We were in Animator's Palate, and it was the Golden Mickey's menu. This turned out to be one of my favorite meals: Crispy Cheese Ravioli (Yum!), Salad of Mixed Baby Greens (great combinations), Yachtsman Steakhouse Grilled NY Strip, and the Sweet Temptations Trio. I enjoyed everything on my plate! I didn't take any pictures of our food, and I can't remember what DH ordered at this meal, but it was a very enjoyable evening.

Once again, the kids were served at a faster pace and left the table before we did. DS went back to the room to watch television, and I took DD to the kids' club to see if her friends were there. DH and I finished dinner a little before 7:30 and went to get DS. We stopped by the club, but DD's friends weren't there, so she left with us and we all went to Wavebands to see a variety show by Shawn Farquhar. I don't remember much about the show except it was so crowded that we sat on the steps, and we laughed a lot. Seeing these variety shows as a family, and doing a LOT of laughing as a family, was one of my favorite parts of the cruise!

After this show, DD and I headed to the Golden Mickeys. As I have mentioned before, DS isn't a fan of the character/Broadway-style shows, so he and DH went back to the room for some ESPN time. We got two seats, and then I left DD there for a few minutes so I could go and tell our tablemates that we wouldn't be eating with them for the remainder of the cruise. The parents were very understanding, but the girls were upset. The next day, our first server saw me and told me that it was all my fault the girls were crying at dinner (he said it with a Disney smile, of course). I did feel horrible, but it made our overall cruise experience so much better, and as you will see as the report progresses, we had many more opportunities to hang out with this family!

DD and I thoroughly enjoyed the Golden Mickeys (my favorite show of the week). After the performance, we went back to the room to go to bed. (If we had remained in late seating, we would have still been eating at this point. I can't stress how much the change helped us!)

Before closing the curtains and turning out the lights, we got to see one more interesting sight. Before we crossed into Alaska, some kind of Canadian officials on the ship had to disembark. This boat came right up next to the ship, and some people transferred. They announced something about it over the PA system, but we didn't catch all the details. The kids thought it was cool!


213 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

Whew! That was a long post! Coming up next...A Morning of Anticipation!
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:34 AM   #72
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Wow! Looking at the picture of the boat coming along the trip shows how big the ship is. The people on the boat are so small!

Thanks for the updates. I remember going to Holiday World back when it was Santa Claus Land, all I really remember about it though was it was really cold! Glad to hear you all had a good time.

You may get to this later in the TR but what age would you recommend kids to be to go on this trip? I know that some excursions recommend a minimum age and I know that younger ones may not be able to participate in everything but I'm wondering more about the activities keeping their attention. I suppose that there are enough on-board activities to keep the younger ones occupied if they are not interested in the scenery.

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Old 07-29-2013, 06:10 PM   #73
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Wow! Looking at the picture of the boat coming along the trip shows how big the ship is. The people on the boat are so small!

Thanks for the updates. I remember going to Holiday World back when it was Santa Claus Land, all I really remember about it though was it was really cold! Glad to hear you all had a good time.

You may get to this later in the TR but what age would you recommend kids to be to go on this trip? I know that some excursions recommend a minimum age and I know that younger ones may not be able to participate in everything but I'm wondering more about the activities keeping their attention. I suppose that there are enough on-board activities to keep the younger ones occupied if they are not interested in the scenery.

Christine
I really think the age thing just depends on what you are comfortable with for your family. I would not have wanted to take small children because of naps, diapers, etc..., but I am sure there are families who do and have a great trip. My kids didn't appreciate the nature aspect as much as DH and I did, but they still had a great time with ship activities and excursions, and they would say it was one of their favorite vacations. I love that my kids are now at an age where they can walk without needing to be held, tote their own carry-on, and make it through a meal without major issues (not saying they still don't have room for improvement with table manners, for sure), but I am sure there are some who would think it was a waste of money to take them on a trip like this if they didn't fully appreciate the Alaskan scenery. Anyone can enjoy a Disney cruise--it's just what you think is a good fit for your family.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:11 PM   #74
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I really want to do this cruise next summer. I have been reading another report that I am enjoying, but the girl writing it is single without kids, so your perspective is more similar to what mine would be, I think. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to reading more.

Susan
You're welcome, and thanks for reading. Kids certainly do add a twist to the experience!
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:06 PM   #75
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We stopped by the kids clubs to pick up wristbands, wandered around for a few minutes, and then it was time to go to our stateroom. We were in 6608, and we loved the location. It was a starboard 5C, but the room next to ours was a 5B. The room was categorized as aft, but it was between the aft and mid elevators. We were also just down the hall from the laundry room, which I liked a lot. We thought it was a great location.
We are in the exact same room for our June 2014 Alaska cruise!
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